Seven distribution considerations not to overlook from HEDNA’s recent white paper.
I was thrilled to join the Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) board of directors earlier this year. As the appointed liaison with its Analytics Working Group, I am privileged to work alongside some of the industry’s brightest minds as we help forge a better future for hotel businesses and enable a broader understanding of the changes and disruptors in the distribution space.
To become more data-driven, hoteliers must make targeted investments in traditional and emerging analytics tools, processes and skills. This requires an appreciation of the bigger data picture and the options and approaches available. With this in mind, HEDNA’s Analytics Working Group was formed to:
- Raise awareness of how electronic distribution data is being used (survey)
- Identify opportunities for improvements in data usage and analytics (this paper)
- Recommend best industry practices (to be published later this year).
The group is co-chaired by travel experts from Triometric, Excella and NTTData. Other members include Accor, IHG, Wyndham, WorldHotels and Rosewood. About 50 HEDNA member companies, consultants and academics are active in the group’s discussions and work program.
The group’s first paper, documenting the findings of an extensive survey into the distribution landscape, is the foundation for our second paper which details the considerations for “Investing in Hotel Analytics”.
With analytics, hotel companies can achieve new levels of precision in their distribution channel mix to optimize occupancy, rate and profits. While the value in analytics is recognized, many hoteliers are unsure how to make the most of their data. Investment in platforms, tools and skills is required that companies may not have experience in. Every hotel business is different—there is no one size fits all—but our white paper explains the key considerations for taking a data vision to reality, with some practical advice.
After a general introduction to the various types of analytics, the paper details seven fundamental factors that underpin any adoption or strengthening of analytics across an organization:
- Use Cases – These are helpful examples in guiding not only the questions analytics needs to answer, but also what data is required and from which source. (Section 5)
- Data Integration – Outlining the five considerations when using and integrating data from multiple source systems, such as booking trend analysis and revenue reporting. (Section 6)
- Data Quality – Getting correct and complete data to analyze is critical to getting the right answers. This section addresses a data quality framework. (Section 7)
- Data Storage – Managing capacity and data volume for the entire information lifecycle. A data storage framework encompasses data security, data privacy, and data retention, all of which are critical to get right. (Section 8)
- Data Access – Who has access to what data needs to be carefully monitored and controlled in the context of privacy, regulation and security. This is also about empowering the right users to query the data, while not burdening others with more than they need, and the framework for feeding other data systems for advanced analytics as needed. (Section 9)
- Analytics Skillsets – Having the right people with the right skillsets to analyze and apply the data in the right way. This section addresses the merits of developing in-house skills as well as how to develop outsourced relationships with data specialists where resources are limited. (Section 10)
- Analytics Tools – Getting the right tools that match business needs to facilitate the transition from reactive to more pro-active decision-making based on real data is the crux in making the right investment choices. This section covers a checklist of considerations for users and other stakeholders. (Section 11)
Our paper offers advice and hands-on guidance to help hoteliers make considered investments in the development of their analytic capabilities to meet the diverse and complex demands of today’s competitive hospitality climate. The full 33-page report can be downloaded here from the HEDNA website.
Register now and block your calendar tomorrow, Thursday, July 18, at 10:00 AM central time for “Distribution Analytics: From Vision to Reality,” a new HEDNA webinar. Based on our white paper, this webinar offers a blueprint and guidance to help hoteliers understand key things to consider when investing in or strengthening their analytics capabilities. Topics covered include the integral areas of data integration, quality, access and storage as well as the skillsets and tools necessary to succeed.
Audrey is passionate about being a catalyst for change. With an entrepreneurial approach, she seeks new and unique opportunities to solve complicated challenges. In her 23 years directing global distribution and third-party relationships for the Radisson Hotel Group, Audrey designed key partnerships to enhance the hotel’s brand, profitability and guest satisfaction.
Audrey holds a B.S. in marketing management from Bellevue University and completed the Carlson School of Management’s Executive Leadership Program. Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, she was drawn to IDeaS’ global headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota by the opportunity to follow a bold new path while still serving the industry she knows and loves.